Strength in weakness

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  — 2 Corinthians 12:9 Lent is a time I focus on my weaknesses. I don’tContinue reading “Strength in weakness”

Do you know who you’re talking to?

As I walked down the hall and into our parish’s Spanish language youth group meeting after a very trying and somewhat disappointing middle school lesson on the Ten Commandments, I was fully immersed in beleaguered-teacher mode. I entered and quickly began an Advent lesson on Mary. We began reviewing the stories of the Annunciation, theContinue reading “Do you know who you’re talking to?”

Questions as a path to unity

Years ago, while teaching theology to 9th graders, a particular student tugged at my heart. Each day he would come into my classroom and listen thoughtfully. His face would twist up with frustration and confusion while he heard me explain how the Bible came to be and the call of discipleship. The questions seemed toContinue reading “Questions as a path to unity”

It’s not our job to change people

Years ago, when I was learning how to be a teacher, some of my motivations were quite idealistic: I want to change the hearts and minds of youth, and therefore change the world!! Now, when I think back to the workings of my mind in those days, I almost want to scold my younger self,Continue reading “It’s not our job to change people”

Lessons learned from my students

A few weeks ago I saw my first “Back to School” flier of the season. In the past several years, such fliers stirred up emotions of stress and panic for me, along with excitement. As a teacher, back to school sales served as glaring reminders that I had a lot to do. This time, theContinue reading “Lessons learned from my students”

Challenged to trust in Mystery

Yesterday I finished packing up my classroom. A somber weight pressed upon my shoulders as I cleaned out my desk, dusted shelves and put books and picture frames in boxes. In the silence I prayed in gratitude for the room that has held so much life and energy for me during the past four years.Continue reading “Challenged to trust in Mystery”

The church is a home for peacemakers

In the midst of a war, I found my home in the Catholic church. I was a college student, majoring in history. Studying history meant, among other things, studying war and the destruction and injustices that wars had repeatedly caused. The more I studied this side of history, the more passionate I became about socialContinue reading “The church is a home for peacemakers”

Pumped for Pope Francis in the USA

This afternoon Pope Francis will arrive in the USA! Even though I can’t go the East Coast to greet him,  I am very excited! During these first few weeks of school I have been doing different things with my students to get us all pumped up for his visit to our country. (I made the localContinue reading “Pumped for Pope Francis in the USA”

A new school year and a refreshed legacy

Like many students and teachers around the country, I recently started a new school year. As this new year began to feel imminent, I looked back on my experience of teaching, so far. I hesitate to admit that I haven’t always loved teaching. Sure, when I started this important ministry eight years ago, I lovedContinue reading “A new school year and a refreshed legacy”

Beautiful chaos and Lenten conversion

Recently, I asked my students what comes to mind when they hear the phrase “Kingdom of God.” This (low-quality) photo summarizes the lively classroom discussion that occurred that day. As I told my students, I intentionally recorded all their comments on the board in a very messy fashion because I want them to see that the KingdomContinue reading “Beautiful chaos and Lenten conversion”